Thursday, June 25, 2015

RUN!!!

The Apostle Paul is a manly man.  He's the kinda guy you'd love to have as your fundraising mentor.  Not only does he regularly preach the gospel, but he also calls us time and time again to do hard things:

  • "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." -1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV
  • "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." -Galatians 5:1 ESV
  • "Fight the good fight of the faith." -1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
  • "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil." -Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV

But there is one place where Paul says to RUN:
"Flee from sexual immorality! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." -1 Corinthians 6:18-20 ESV, emphasis mine
These are the words of the same man who told us to be strong, stand firm and fight.  This is the same man who triumphantly declared that "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37)! Yet when it comes to sexual immorality, Paul says to RUN.  When the heavyweight champion of Christianity turns tail and runs, we'd better pay attention.

But wait... why write about fleeing sexual immorality on a blog about fundraising?  It's because fundraising can easily leave you feeling weak, defeated and alone. These are perfect conditions for temptations to grow and thrive - and in a culture that is hyper-obsessed with sex, you can rest assured that sexual immorality is already crouching at your door, ready to pounce.

It was a huge temptation for me during my initial fundraising - and it was a battle that was regularly lost. But those battles didn't have to be lost!  The problem was that I didn't RUN.  I tried to fight, on my own, in a very ill-equipped way.  I didn't regularly seek God, I didn't regularly seek community, and I kept trying to fix the problem myself.  I was sure that I could contain it somehow. But it never worked - and it resulted in great pain to both myself and others.

Thankfully, Paul offers us a better strategy in the passage above.  After telling us to RUN, Paul reminds us of the gospel: that we were purchased by the blood of Christ and that our bodies are now temples in which God's Spirit dwells.  That's incredible!  Though our holy God should have utterly destroyed us in our sin, He instead chose to rescue us and live with us forever.  Pondering that thought alone does wonders for removing temptations to sin!  It winsomely encourages us to run from sexual immorality and run to our Savior.  The message of the gospel inherently draws us to seek God, to seek community and to rely on God to provide.  It frees us to confess our inadequacies, to depend on God's ever-present grace and, in so doing, to glorify God in our bodies.

So when you see temptations to sexuality immorality during your fundraising, don't believe the lie that it's something that can be tamed.  You can't keep it in a box or cage any more than you can hold fire in your hands (Pr 6:27-29).  Don't try to master sexual immorality.  RUN!

Fundraising is hard.  Overcoming sexuality immorality is extremely hard.  That's why you ought to work diligently at the former, but RUN as fast and as far as you can from the latter.